So it's been a bit of an adjustment having half of our district leave. The ward took it pretty hard because both anziani got blown out AND Sorella Rossell.. we took it pretty hard too. But all the missionaries who came down are cool too, so that's always a plus.
For pday on Monday we spent it all together with the giovanni at Giuseppe's house and then went and got gelato.
We also went to a member's house for dinner, SO I wanted someone to roll me home after all the meal appointments this week #foodinsicilia
Tuesday we had our last DDM all together, which just turned into us all telling each other why we love each other and how we changed each other's missions.
Lots of love.
We also had all 3 of our new appointments stand us up that day, so that was a low. BUT because it was the last English course, our creepy English course students wrote Slla Rossell a song. It was so funny because they are so creepy and we got it all on video.. maybe one day I'll show you.
Wed we went to the Amadli's for lunch and we made homemade granita. Then the three missionaries had to leave for Catania and Vickers stayed with us in Siracusa..
We had correlation and our ward mission leader shows up and says,
"Okay, so instead of talking about our work, let's talk about the jokes we want to play on the new elders.. I have the keys to their apartment"... more to come ;)
We also went to this lady's, Silvana, house who is the other sisters' investigator and she is the textbook definition of a Sicilian woman: she force fed us cookies, spoke in dialect, and then slapped my behind on the way out the door.
Thursday we went to Anna Maria's, but she was smoking when we got there which was really sad because we have been working so hard on helping her to quit smoking.. so that lesson didn't go really well...
We did more appointments for the other sorelle, and on the way to English course we passed by a pesceria and saw a GIANT swordfish head...
So our wheels started turning and the sisters talked me into asking them how much it costs.. and they said they would give it to us for free... so after English course we were really sketchy and passed by the store with all the blinds closed..
They stuck their hand out the door and handed us a big black garbage bag that smelled SO bad and we walked back to our apartment so that the next day our ward mission leader could pass by and go stick it in the anziani's house before they got here... #welcometosiracusa
Friday we had a lesson with our new investigator, Adriana, from Romania and it went really well. She is so sweet and I think she is going to really make some great progress.
Bonzai for Books of Mormon
On the way home, Sorella Vickers waved at the police men.. it's a greenie thing: you still think it's okay to wave at everyone and say "Ciao," but really it's just asking for trouble.. or for free things..
luckily for us we got the second option.. because the police men came back and pulled over as we were talking to a Chinese man selling bonzai trees...
So the police man bought us all bonzai trees and we gave them copies of the Book of Mormon. Now the police man is trying to text Vickers and get at her. good luck, bud.
Then we did more finding in the afternoon. It was really funny because the best way to find people in Sicily is to just ask them random questions and then they open up and tell you about their whole lives.
So we met this man by the church and he started asking us the difference between our church and his. We teach him the Restoration and he goes,
"Okay I get it.. you are like Catholics, but not practicing.."
and I'm like "Ummm, no it's the opposite.. we are practicing, non-Catholics."
and he is like, "Okay I get it.. you guys are like part of the Catholic church but you don't practice the church."
and I'm like, "Nope. The other way around." So that's what people in sicily think missionaries are: non-practicing Catholics. He also told me that I should marry a Sicilian man. bad idea. not happening.
Anyway, then we did other things... but I'm running out of timmme to write it all down.
To the Death
The work is moving really slow here.. but it's moving. I'm working really hard on dedicating my whole might, mind, heart, soul, time, body--everything in these last 2 transfers.
I don't want to leave anything behind.. but it's also a lot of fun.
mafia (watch out)
Sicily is so beautiful and the people are incredible. Even though most people reject us, I see miracles every day and there is nothing I love more than just bearing my testimony to people.
Anz Smith brought down my "death papers" with him and I've been avoiding them (the papers you get when you are about to finish and you have to tell all the things you learned on your mission and stuff) but it's also helped me to reflect on my mission and think about how I've changed and the things that I've learned.
I think one of the biggest things I've learned is what it really means to be converted to the gospel: not to just know the gospel or live the gospel, but to really be converted by the gospel.
I have been so blessed to really learn from and experience the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ.
How blessed are we to have that knowledge and understand the real role of Jesus Christ and to have the fullness of the gospel, which just really means that we have the fullness of what faith means, how to repent, true baptism, the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end..
I've been blessed by each one of those things individually, but together we have all the things we need to find happiness. So today I'm just feeling blessed.
Vi Voglio bene bene
With love from Siracusa,
p.s. (separate email)
Also tell Chad congrats on the mission call! Lima, Peru sounds SO cool.. I always say that If I didn't serve in Rome I'd want to serve in Peru.. there are TONS of Peruvians here and they are my favorite.
He will see a lot of success and a lot of humble, beautiful people.